Around the children's book corner of the blogosphere, you'll find many posts on books from Canada. Organized by Colleen Mondor, the "One Shot World Tour" roster of participating blogs can be found later today at her blog, Chasing Ray.
Canada's national sport figures prominently in Rink of Dreams, a novel by Nancy L.M. Russell (Key Porter Books, 2005). It's the first year on an elite hockey team for Gary MacDonald, an eighth grader who must contend with not only a bullying teammate but also his parents' separation. Luckily for Gary, a minor league hockey team moves to his town on Prince Edward Island, and his family befriends a rising superstar from Russia. Wallace touches on a lot of subjects—unnecessary violence in sports, steroid use, the loss of Canadian hockey teams to the U.S., the Russian mob—to keep her readers' attention, but the primary action lies in the evolving relationships between the main characters. As Gary contends with the many events of a pivotal year, he grows up emotionally. 11- to 14-year-old sports enthusiasts who favor books with plenty of plot constitute ideal audience for Rink of Dreams.